Marilea Wells, 84, was called home to be with the Lord on Sept. 11, 2020, after a lengthy and courageous battle with illness.

Visitation will be 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18 with funeral services at 3 p.m. at Memorial Funeral Home. Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery. In keeping with the guidelines put forth by the Boone County Health Director, all guests are required to wear a mask, to keep social distancing (six feet apart), cough into your sleeve and wash and sanitize your hands often.

Marilea was born Jan. 19, 1936 as one of five children to Clarence and Muriel Ashlock in Tyronza, Arkansas. Her parents and two brothers: Bobby (June) and Billy (Joy) Ashlock preceded her in death. Her sisters: Margrhea (Harold) Willmuth and Arlynn (John) Hazelwood survive.

She attended and graduated from Sloan-Hendrix High School after attending a rural elementary school named Fairview. She enjoyed school and learning in general and made good grades. The summer after graduation from high school she competed in the Lawrence County Beauty Queen contest. She was crowned the queen, given her beauty and warm personality.

She married James N. Wells on July 7, 1956 and had four children: Lynna (Tom) Rice, Robert (Lisa) Wells, Angela Woods, John (Jennie) Wells. She loved her 10 grandchildren: Kelli Rice, Ashton Wells, Chelsea Wells, Jake (Paige) Rice, Wells Woods, Andrew Woods, Maggie Rice, Ali Woods, Jillian Wells and Connor Wells. Tom and Kelli Rice preceded her in death.

Following James during his service years in country and several years in education in Arkansas, the family moved to Columbia in 1965 where James opened Fairview Elementary School. Marilea was a hostess of many teacher functions through the years. She supported her active family as James achieved advanced degrees and attended hundreds of rehearsals, concerts, athletic events, pageants and instilled a love of music in all her children. When the children were grown, she began a career as a dental assistant and enjoyed helping with thousands of patients and was a friend to many.

For 55 years, Marilea was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church, now Calvary Heritage Baptist Church. She served as Sunday School Teacher, nursery worker, committee member, choir member and again played hostess to weekly coffees and countless functions. She loved her fellow church members, studying the Bible and sharing the goodness of God.

Marilea was an avid reader and excellent seamstress who loved to laugh and visit with friends and family. She enjoyed regular visits with Avon representatives and many others who provided goods and services. She and James enjoyed traveling and visited all 50 states. They took seven cruises and visited foreign destinations including England, France, Italy, Israel, Egypt and more.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Calvary Heritage Baptist Church or to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Memorial Funeral Home.